FAQs About Bariatric Psychological Evaluations
April 12, 2017
Choosing bariatric surgery to lose weight can be an effective solution for morbidly obese patients. Undergoing weight loss surgery is the last resort for those who have tried almost everything out there, be it diet or exercise regimens, with little to no success. Bariatric surgeons in Perth and elsewhere, apart from prescribing exhaustive medical examinations to weight loss surgery patients, also recommend psychological evaluation. The objective of the tests is to help patients cope with psychological issues, such as loss of self esteem, which may arise after surgery. The blog discusses some FAQs about such evaluations to help patients get an overview of the process. Take a look.
#1 Why is taking a psychological evaluation advisable?
A psychological evaluation provides vital information about the patient’s mental health, helping the surgeon and their support staff design an effective weight loss program. It also helps the patient cope and prepare for the rigorous postoperative regimen later on.
#2 What does the process entail?
The first part of the test involves the therapist collecting personal information about the patient, such as their demographics. Patients may also need to take a series of tests centered on finding their strengths and weaknesses. Once they have all the information they need, the specialists will conduct a one-on-one clinical interview session with the patient. During the meeting, the therapist will ask questions such as the patient’s reasons for undergoing bariatric surgery, their weight loss goals, diet history, and eating behavior. The expert will also try to allay any of the patient’s concerns about the procedure and provide information on lifestyle changes post surgery, social supports, and ways to cope with psychological issues.
#3 Will I fail the test?
It is important for patients to understand that the motive of a psychiatric evaluation is not to point out psychological issues that may have resulted in the patient’s obesity related issues. As such, the therapist won’t disqualify the patient from undergoing a weight loss surgery. The tests focus on helping patients prepare mentally for the surgery and enable them to avoid mental roadblocks to adopting and abiding by a healthy lifestyle.
#4 Will therapist provide negative feedback if patient is getting treated for a mental illness?
There’s no conclusive evidence to suggest that patients suffering from mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar illness may not benefit from a weight loss surgery. In most instances, therefore, the therapist won’t raise any objections. That said, the evaluator will recommend follow-up sessions after surgery, if the patient has unhealthy eating habits, such as feasting on snacks with empty calories in between meals.
#5 Will i need psychological evaluation if I am already seeing a mental health professional?
Patients who’re already seeking help from a mental health professional still need to undergo the evaluation process, as therapists trained in bariatrics understand the specific psychological and behavioral issues weight loss surgery patients can experience. The service provider may request a letter from the patient’s therapist briefing them on the case history and supporting the patient’s decision to undergo the surgical procedure.
#6 What happens if the therapist finds a psychological issue?
If the therapist finds any psychological issues that can impact the outcome of surgery, they may recommend that the patient undergo behavioral health counseling sessions. The surgeon may shift the surgery date until the problem is under control.
Final few Words
Taking a psychological evaluation helps patients prepare mentally to undergo weight loss surgery. The therapist will also provide tips to enable patients avoid behavioral issues post surgery. The most important factor, however, to boost chances of success is to avail the services of an experienced bariatric surgeon. Perth Surgical & Bariatrics conducts different weight loss surgery procedures, such as gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, SIPS surgery . We also help patients design a dedicated diet and exercise regimen and assist them make lifestyle changes to achieve sustainable weight loss goals. To learn more, you can also fill out our contact form and we’ll get in touch to provide any assistance you need. You can also call us at 08 9370 9686.